Gastric tube cancer after esophagectomy for cancer: a systematic review

Damiano Gentile, Pietro Riva, Anna Da Roit, Silvia Basato, Salvatore Marano, Carlo Castoro

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Gastric conduit used for reconstruction after esophagectomy for cancer has the potential to develop a metachronous neoplasm known as gastric tube cancer (GTC). The aim of this study was to review literature and evaluate outcomes and possible treatment strategies for GTC. A comprehensive systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library Central Register of Controlled Trials. No restriction was set for the type of publication, number, age, or sex of the patients. The search was limited to articles in English. Characteristics of esophageal cancer (EC) and its treatment and GTC and its treatment were analyzed. A total of 28 studies were analyzed, 12 retrospective analyses and 16 case reports, involving 229 patients with 250 GTCs in total. The majority of ECs (88.2%) were squamous cell carcinomas. In 120 patients (52.4%) a posterior mediastinal reconstructive route was used when esophagectomy was performed. The mean interval between esophagectomy and diagnosis of GTC was 55.8 months, with a median interval of 56.8 months (4-236 months). One hundred and twenty-four GTCs (49.6%) were located in the lower part of the gastric tube. One hundred and forty patients were endoscopically treated. Eighty-five patients underwent surgery. Thirty-six total gastrectomies with lymphadenectomy with colon or jejunal interposition were performed. Forty-three subtotal gastrectomies and 6 wedge resections were performed. The main reported postoperative complications were anastomotic leak, vocal cord palsy, and respiratory failure. Twenty-five patients were treated with palliative chemotherapy. Three-year survival rates were 69.3% for endoscopically treated patients, 58.8% for surgically resected patients, and 4% for patients who underwent palliative treatment. The feasibility of endoscopic resections in patients diagnosed with superficial GTC has been reported. Surgical treatment represented the preferred treatment method in operable patients with locally invasive tumor. Patients treated with conservative therapy have a scarce prognosis. The development of GTC should be taken into consideration during the extended follow-up of patients undergoing esophagectomy for cancer. Total gastrectomy plus lymphadenectomy should be considered the preferred treatment modality in operable patients with locally invasive tumor, when endoscopy is contraindicated. Long-term yearly endoscopic follow-up is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms/pathology
  • Esophagectomy/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy/methods
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal/adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary/etiology
  • Postoperative Complications/etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms/etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


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